What do you do with your aging neck? This is the question I get all the time, from people of all ages. Starting in the 30s all the way to the 80s, patients are interested in making their neck look better.
First and foremost, make sure you are well hydrated and applying sunscreen daily. Dry skin looks worse and wrinkles much more than that of patients who drink ample fluids and protect their skin every day from the sun. I have many patients who remember to apply sunscreen to their face, but forget about the neck.
I have treated many of our injectable patients who have the two anterior Platysmal bands, two strips of muscles that start at the base of your neck and run up the front left and right sides of your neck, with Botox with good success. Some patients who have a full smile will contract these anterior bands in photos, and they can be relaxed with Botox. Also, the transverse wrinkles of the neck can be improved with an off-label injection of Botox. Fillers are also able to be introduced into a limited number of wrinkles.
We also have many options available to help with discoloration of the skin. Our aesthetician offers IPL (or photofacial), chemical peels, and topical skin treatments from our SkinMedica skin care line. TNS Recovery Complex, Lytera 2.0, and HA-5, together with sunscreen and retinol, can make significant improvements.
We can also help patients with unwanted fullness in the neck. When the fullness is in isolated areas beneath the neck, Kybella is the treatment of choice. Kybella is a relatively new treatment that is injected into the neck to permanently reduce the fullness by ‘melting’ the fat cell walls and getting rid of those cells forever. This treatment is performed in the office. After icing the neck, we’ll mark the area to be treated with a grid and lines for optimal injecting. Post-injection, there can be temporary redness and swelling, and most patients will require 3-4 injections to get the desired improvement.
You can also discuss with your doctor about it’s off-label uses. Kybella can be used to reduce jowls, anterior and posterior axillary fat, and small areas of localized fat in other areas of the body. The ideal candidate for neck injections will have firm skin that will retract into the space created by the loss of fat. For those with less firm skin, Kybella can also work to improve the contour of the neck, even if the skin does not contract completely.
Men and women can both get improvement with these non-surgical approaches. They can also be candidates for liposuction to the neck, which is more suited to generalized areas of soft tissue fullness below the jaw. This requires a small amount of time off work and a quick trip to the OR. Liposuction removes fat cells, so with weight maintenance those areas will have lifelong results, and all areas of the neck can be treated in one sitting.
The fat-freezing treatment CoolSculpting, also causes permanent loss of fat cells, but may require several treatments. With any machine claiming outstanding improvements in neck appearance with no down time, be wary and cautious. Be sure to see examples of the results and improvements from that provider’s hands – not just on the company’s marketing brochure.
For necks with very loose, crepey skin that needs significant tightening, the gold standard treatment remains the face lift. There are however, many more conservative treatments that we can start with, which can be done in the office with no down time and little discomfort.
No matter what you are looking to improve on your neck, we can find a treatment just for you. For desired results, please schedule a consultation for us to discuss your exact needs!